See the visible linear scar left behind by an FUT hair transplant procedure vs the undetectable, natural looking results of an FUE hair transplant procedure.
Choosing the best option of hair transplant for you can feel confusing or intimidating. However, RESTORE is here to provide our knowledge to our clientele to make the best informed decision based on your own specific set of needs. Among the various techniques available, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) stand out as the leading methods. We are often asked, “Which procedure is better: an FUE or FUT hair transplant?” Everyone experiences hair loss differently, so everyone’s treatment approach should be tailored to their own specific hair loss journey. We want to make navigating hair restoration an overall less scary and stressful experience and answer the question of whether an FUE or FUT procedure is best for you.
FUE, or Follicular Unit Extraction, is a revolutionary hair transplant technique that has gained popularity for its minimally invasive nature. The procedure involves the extraction of individual hair follicles from the donor area, typically the back or sides of the scalp, using a specialized micro-punch tool. These follicular units are then meticulously implanted into the recipient area, where hair loss has occurred.
Four Key Features of FUE:
- Minimally Invasive: One of the most significant advantages of FUE is its minimally invasive approach. The absence of a linear incision, as seen in FUT, results in less scarring and a quicker recovery time for patients.
- No Linear Scar: Unlike FUT, FUE does not leave a linear scar at the donor site. Instead, it creates tiny, dot-like scars that are often nearly undetectable, allowing patients to wear shorter hairstyles without concern.
- Versatility in Donor Hair: FUE allows for the extraction of individual follicles, offering greater flexibility in selecting donor hair. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with limited donor hair or those seeking body hair transplantation.
- Suitable for Small Sessions: FUE is well-suited for smaller transplant sessions, making it an ideal choice for those looking to address specific areas of hair loss or for individuals with limited donor hair.
FUT, or Follicular Unit Transplantation, is a traditional hair transplant method that involves the removal of a strip of tissue from the donor area. This strip is then dissected into individual follicular units, which are subsequently transplanted into the recipient area.
Three Key Features of FUT:
- Maximizing Graft Yield: FUT allows for the extraction of a larger number of grafts in a single session compared to FUE. This is particularly advantageous for individuals with extensive hair loss who require a higher graft count.
- Faster Procedure: Since FUT involves the removal of a strip containing multiple follicular units at once, the procedure can be quicker than FUE, making it a more time-efficient option for some patients.
- Long-Term Graft Survival: The method of harvesting in FUT may result in a higher percentage of hair follicles surviving the transplantation process, contributing to potentially better long-term results.
FUE vs. FUT: A Comparison
Scarring and Healing
FUE: FUE is renowned for its minimal scarring, with tiny, dot-like scars that are often barely noticeable. Healing time is relatively quick, allowing patients to resume regular activities sooner.
FUT: The main drawback of FUT is the linear scar left at the donor site, which can be more noticeable, especially for those who prefer shorter hairstyles. Healing may take longer due to the nature of the incision.
Graft Quality and Quantity
FUE: While FUE offers the advantage of individual follicle extraction, it may result in a lower graft yield per session compared to FUT. This is a crucial consideration for individuals with extensive hair loss requiring a higher number of grafts.
FUT: FUT tends to provide a higher graft count in a single session, making it a preferred choice for individuals with advanced hair loss seeking maximum coverage.
FUE: FUE is a meticulous process that may take longer, especially for larger transplant sessions. The duration can vary based on the skill of the surgeon and the number of grafts required.
FUT: FUT is generally faster due to the ability to harvest a larger number of grafts at once. This can be advantageous for those seeking a more time-efficient procedure.
FUE: The recovery period for FUE is typically shorter, with patients able to resume normal activities within a few days. The small, scattered scars make post-operative care more straightforward.
FUT: Patients undergoing FUT may need more time for healing, and the care routine is crucial to minimize the appearance of the linear scar. Strenuous activities may need to be limited during the initial recovery period.
FUE or FUT PRICING
Notably, the older strip method is cheaper than the more modern FUE method. This is because a strip is far less labor-intensive for the doctor. The newer FUE method requires “threading the needle” thousands of times to individually remove each hair from your head whereas the strip method allows your doctor to remove every follicle in a matter of minutes.
This variable influences the price significantly, because a higher time investment from your doctor means a higher price. As far as pricing goes for FUE or FUT, FUT is more affordable, but if you are looking to have a procedure accompanied by much less pain, much less downtime, and visibly no scarring, then the increase in cost of FUE may be worth it to you.
FUE or FUT DOCTORS
Very simply, the FUE method is more challenging to perform than a strip. For this reason, some doctors will nudge patients toward the strip method simply to save time and attempt to scale their practice.
Also, there are quite a few “under skilled” doctors who perform the strip method because it’s an easier surgery for them to offer. Conversely, the FUE method is clearly more challenging – it requires more time, more patience, more training, more resources, and a larger staff (hence the greater price tag).
A fantastic doctor should be capable of performing both surgeries at a high level, although they will typically specialize in one form or the other. At RESTORE, our doctors highly recommend and practice the FUE method. Though it takes more time and is more costly, we believe that it benefits our clients more to have less downtime and a virtually undetectable procedure.
Our doctors are well educated and trained at what they do, and have performed countless procedures on clients of all walks of life. They have seen every scenario when it comes to hair loss and in most cases, can solve any hair loss problem.
The experience that they have is unmatched, especially because they have been trained by Dr. James Harris, an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon and recognized innovator in the field of hair restoration. It is absolutely worth it to have your procedure performed by doctors who specialize in hair.
FUE or FUT RESULTS
Immediately following the introduction of FUE in the mid 2000s, many doctors reported that the post-transplant survival rate of FUE follicles was lower than the strip method. This obviously initially caused great concern and subsequently became a myth that has lingered with the FUE procedure ever since.
In fact, the lack of initial success with the first FUE procedures was caused by a lack of experience among doctors. At that time, no doctor had ever performed the FUE method before, so there was a learning curve before the procedure was perfected as there is with any other newly introduced procedure.
The truth is that an experienced FUE surgeon should achieve the exact same follicular survival rate as an experienced FUT surgeon, with the same fantastic results. Today, RESTORE has doctors that are specifically trained to perform FUE procedures and perform them with great success day in and day out.
The major differentiator when it comes to FUE vs FUT results is the large linear scar that FUT leaves behind. In our opinion, FUE is the clear better option in terms of results for this reason. Plus, it can be assumed that there are less complications when it comes to FUE post operation healing since there are no sutures involved at all.
Choosing between an FUE or FUT hair transplant procedure can feel confusing. The FUE method has surpassed the FUT method in popularity for good reason. In particular, the lack of more permanent visible scarring, more tolerable recovery period, and fantastic results have caused more people to choose FUE. The biggest potential drawback of FUE is cost, but if paying a bit more results in a virtually undetectable hair transplant, we think it’s well worth the larger investment.
Cost conscious patients may opt for the FUT hair transplant method, but you must remember that the linear scar is permanent and will stay with you forever. From our experience, when choosing between an FUE or FUT hair transplant. we typically recommend opting for an FUE procedure. When it’s your life, your confidence, and your head on the line, we recommend choosing the superior option and the best doctors, both of which are offered at RESTORE Hair.